The Figaro Digital Monthly Digest: October

by Figaro Digital

As the nights draw in and the weather gets cooler, digital marketing remains more important than ever. As the public cuddles up from the cold and gets in the (dare I say it) Christmas spirit, now is the perfect time to capitalise.

Check out the biggest stories from the past four weeks in the October edition of our monthly digest below.

The Latest Social News

LinkedIn Becomes The Social Media Channel Of Choice In North Korea

Following the announcement of record levels of engagement, LinkedIn has become the social media channel of choice in North Korea. Following a report by US tech company Record Future, LinkedIn has curried favour with the North Korean elite who have internet access.

Priscilla Moriuchi, Director of Strategic Threat Development at Recorded Future, explained that LinkedIn’s popularity is the result of “the elite who use the internet as part of their job – so they may well travel, and come into contact with new ideas. They use computers proficiently, speak multiple languages – we found that they were not even viewing material in Korean.”

Nobody really knows exactly why the platform has taken off in the isolationist country, but as its foreign policy begins to open up, new opportunities shall arise.

Facebook Implements Restrictions On ‘Low Quality’ Ads

Facebook has announced a new set of restrictions and increased penalties for what it deems are ‘low-quality ads on Facebook, such as ones that include clickbait or direct people to unexpected content’.

As a result, advertisements that fall within ‘engagement bait’ – such as ‘like and share’ ads – shall be limited.

Any ads that rely on withholding information or sensationalising its contents will also have their visibility reduced. Essentially, if you’re running an ad-campaign on Facebook, it’s better to be transparent than hyperbolic.

The Latest Google News

Google Adds Follow Feature To Maps

Google Maps has taken some inspiration from Facebook Pages, allowing users to follow businesses. By following, users essentially ‘favourite’ businesses and agree to receive notifications from them.

All this news pops-up in the ‘For You’ Google tab, providing an avenue for traffic to specific events, deals, and news.

The change appears to be focused on brick-and-mortar businesses, which can utilise the feature to spread news and deals efficiently.

The Latest In Branding

Starbucks Develops American Sign Language Branding For First ‘Signing Store’

(Source: Starbucks)

Starbucks has opened its first sign language store, opening up employment opportunities and an inclusive space for deaf and hard of hearing people.

The store, based in Washington DC, will be bilingual in English and American Sign Language (ASL), drawing inspiration from the original idea that came from a Starbucks in Malaysia.

Following this exciting change, Starbucks has used the opportunity to develop an ASL version of its branding, as well as translating all signs in-store to the language. The changes were developed in co-operation with DeafSpace, an ASL deaf studies department at a neighbouring university.

Starbucks has used this opportunity to ignite social media frenzy, utilising athletes, a video campaign, and its own hashtag #StarbucksSigns to rack up engagement:


In-store, Starbucks is also utilising digital notepads and two-way keyboards for back-and-forth conversations and orders.

Oatly Ignites Controversy In New UK Campaign

(Source: Oatly)

Oatly shows that controversy gets attention, with the plant-based milk brand pumping £700,000 into its ‘It’s like milk, but made for humans’ slogan.

The company was taken to court for running a similar campaign in Sweden by the dairy industry, who argued that the brand’s marketing wrongfully implied that cow’s milk is unhealthy. Undeterred by that lawsuit, Oatly is now bringing the campaign to the UK.

Oatly’s Creative and Strategic Director for International Markets, Michael Lee, stated:

“Some consider our messaging to be controversial. We disagree. It’s fact because our oat drinks actually are made for humans, rather than for baby cows. Although we lost a lawsuit from the Swedish diary industry in 2015, we still believe in the line, it’s still the truth, which is why you’re seeing it across the UK.”

Either way, the ballsy move has put the relatively small brand in the headlines.

Cadillac Cooking Up New Branding Campaign

Following a series of brand-related issues, motor giant Cadillac has announced that it has “thousands of people” working on a re-brand.

In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Cadillac President Steve Carlisle stated that he sees the re-brand as an attempt to make the business a “master brand” again. Exciting times for the car obsessives out there!

Our Favourite Campaign Of The Month

This month we’re taking a gander at Microsoft’s experimental Shadow Posters campaign by McCann London. The goal was to advertise Microsoft’s new Surface Pro 6, which is available for the first time in a matte black finish. Essentially, the colour palette fades into the background, which the campaign has attempted to mimic.

To mirror the tech, the campaign uses posters that only react to certain levels of light and shadow. As a result, the campaign literally blends into the surroundings, effectively capturing the Surface Pro 6’s appeal.

Jamie Mietz, EMEA Creative Director at McCann London, said:

“Normally, posters are meant to distract you, but for a product that’s about focus and not being distracted, we took a new approach to outdoor. These Shadow Posters are a reinvention of the poster format, an OOH campaign that blends into its surroundings. Its impact comes from being low-impact.”

Please take a look at more of our articles for the latest news updates, guides, and opinion pieces, or discover our digital marketing events for more in-depth learning. Our digital marketing magazine compiles in-depth knowledge from the industry, too, if you fancy something wordier.